Favorite Dollar Store Jebus Pic

Favorite Dollar Store Jebus Pic
This is the Jesus Christ of the Jebus Crusters (Note: NOT Semitic)

Monday, May 30, 2011

Presentism, Screen Memory, and Misremembrance

In a Religion Dispatches essay May 10, 2011, Paul Harvey wondered if Fox "News" frequent guest David Barton perhaps lived in an alterate universe, a place where Jefferson never said anything against Christianity, most if not all of the Founding Fathers were devout Christians, and the American nation was conceived and designed to be governed by Christian principles, separation of church and state being a myth created by perverted liberals.  Harvey was strangely hesistant to call Barton what he is: a quack.  Harvey does admit as to how Barton has had "a history of outright falsehoods" and has fallen guilty to "the fallacy of presentism (as in using a 1765 sermon or a 1792 congressional vote to show that the original intent of the founders was to oppose bailout and stimulus plans)."  Need we know more?   

In keeping with the saying by Seneca, I follow the dollar so to speak in sussing out those responsible for the sort of balderdash that Barton spews in his Hannity (and other Fox "News" guest appearances.  (Not being a devout Fox "News" addict, I am uncertain how many of their notoriously right wing commentators hire Barton to pontificate on his fallaciously thought-out conclusions about the Fathers in particular and the Constitution in general; though he calls himself a historian, he doesn't claim to be a Constitutional scholar.)  Barton is of course an evangelical, that sector of the Crustian Brigade most susceptible to hoodwinking and most gullible when it comes to intepretation of "scripture" when it comes to fooling the sheep and extracting their shekels.  Surely Barton knows that the earth was created by "God" about five or six thousand years ago; that "God" did it in six days and slept on the seventh, and that everything in the cosmos was created at the same time, such that when baby dinosaurs grew up, children began to saddle and ride them, waving at their parents, Adam and Eve.  And...wait a minute, where did Cain get his wife?

Knowing this kind of history is the reason Barton distorts our more recent entry into the scene, about a million years ago.  If he would distort that, he would distort anything.  The trouble with fundamentalist Crusters like Barton is that they value belief over reason.  Some even claim that "God" put the fossil record down "to fool the Darwinists."  Barton is a shill for the theocrats who want to make Crustianity the state religion so they can impose their Talibanic ways upon Americans.  We will end up in stocks for not going to church on Sunday, despite the fact that Leviticus says we have to go on Saturday and "God" can't decide from synagogue to cathedral whether he wants a woman to cover her head when she speaks meaningless rote ritual.

Presentism guides social positions, as well, because a segment of our population allows supposedly divine pronouncements about such things as abortion, homosexuality, and same sex marriage to dictate policy positions in the cyber age.  Barton should be wearing bear skins or at least a sackcloth.  Notice in the portrait (right column) that he shaves his beard.  What makes him think "God" would punish someone for being gay and let him off for shaving and not keeping the Saturday Sabbath holy?  There were small populations 7,000 years ago, so "God" probably forbade same-sexualism because it is not procreative.  (For "God," use "the leader": Crustians are so subserviant and feudal-minded they still call Jebus  and Jehovah "Lord.")  The main reason women use contraceptives today is that they're a better abortifacient as the devil-knows-what nostrums handed by out by Medieval "witches."  (That's why the RCC burned the wise ones, you know: to stop the home remedies.)  Looks like each age has its scapegoats.

I am one of the lucky ones: my memories of a Crustian upbringing are mostly what psychiatrists call "screen memories."  For my baptism, I have an old photo of some dude in white robes, my parents looking on, a baby, presumably me, awakened from a good nap by a sprinkling of "holy" water on his brow.  I have the photo, so I know it happened.  I reject it.  I reject it.  I reject it.  Now, if we were in an Islamic country and I said that about divorcing my wife, she would be toast.  If it's good enough for the Muslims, it ought to be good enough for the Crusters.  At least the Muslim prophet was an historical figure.

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